Monthly Archives: October 2022

Work on Garfield Park Will Start Next Spring

The swings will stay the other equipment pictured will go.  Photo: Hilary Russell               

Work on Garfield Park Will Start Next Spring

by Hilary Russell

Posted October 10, 2022

The long overdue refurbishment of Garfield Park is off the starting blocks, though work won’t begin until next spring.  The design and permitting period will end in February 2023, and work won’t be completed until summer or fall.

At an October 5 virtual community meeting, Landscape architect David Wooden of DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) outlined the $1.3 million contract awarded in June to Broughton Construction and the Capitol Hill design firm Studio Laan. He declared at the outset that the contract applies to “Garfield Park proper” and not to the area under the freeway managed by the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT).

He presented a map with alphabetically labeled areas where work is planned. Tennis courts are to be repaired and pickleball striping added (A); volleyball and bocce courts refurbished (B and C); and playground equipment replaced and repaired (D and E). Erosion control will focus on specific areas (F), though bench and picnic-table refurbishment and repair will extend from (G) to other locations.

No trees will be removed or planted; some may be trimmed. Children will say goodbye to some of the park’s more eccentric play equipment, but will enjoy refurbished swings, poured-in-place (PIP) rubber surfaces, and quite a lot of new equipment.  It’s not yet clear how much, but options seem to include a Sensory Wall, Saddle Spinner, Double Bobble Rider, Cozy Dome, Revi Wheel, and We-Saw.

The focus on playground equipment reflects responses to an online DPL survey.  Among nearly 800 respondents, 53 percent cited “playground” in response to the question, “What new features or improvements to existing amenities would you like to see implemented at Garfield Park? (select all that apply).”  Passive-use amenities – picnic tables, lighting, erosion issues, and lawn, in that order – scored higher in the survey than active-use adult amenities, including tennis and volleyball courts.  The presentation did not reference lighting, a preference listed by 43 percent of respondents.

The DPL survey listed pickleball, skatepark, and basketball, none of which exist in the park. Friends of Garfield Park has lobbied for these amenities in the area under DDOT jurisdiction: for rebuilding the defunct basketball court; adding a skate park; and smoothing out the cracked and pitted surface of Virginia Avenue where pickleball players have established three courts at their own expense.

Pickle ball played on Virginia Ave., near the New Jersey Ave overpass.  Photo: Hilary Russell

At the community meeting, Robert Krughoff, long-time board member of Friends of Garfield Park, argued for repaving this closed-off roadway instead of adding pickleball stripes to the park’s heavily used tennis courts.  The response was that DDOT would be responsible for such repaving and has no budget for it. Wooten reported this statement by Abdullahi Mohamed, manager of DDOT’s Garfield Park-Canal Park Connector Project, which aims make the area more pedestrian – and bicycle-friendly and mitigate erosion by establishing a “bioretention area” south of the park’s volleyball courts.

Krughoff urged DPL to work hard and more urgently with DDOT to plan better uses for the neglected and wasted space under the freeway, engaging Friends of Garfield Park in this process and assessment of how much money is required.

To date, this post-presentation discussion is not included in the recording available at https://dgs.dc.gov/page/garfield-park-and-playground-improvements . Those wishing to dig deeper can view and listen to the presentation and send follow-up questions to david.wooden1@dc.gov and abdullahi.mohamed@dc.gov .

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The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

ANC6B Commissioner Alison Horn to resign at month’s end.  On October 6, ANC6B09 Commissioner Alison Horn announced her pending resignation at the end of October because she is moving out of her single member district.  Horn announced the decision on Twitter, adding, “I’ve been so incredibly lucky to serve this community & very proud of the work my neighbors and I have accomplished over my term.  Undoubtedly, the community’s consistent demands for improved pedestrian safety in 6B09 were instrumental in getting flashing pedestrian signs, speed humps, new crosswalks & the future project on 17th/19th/Potomac which will hopefully come w/ sorely needed ped safety upgrades.  Together, we fixed sidewalks and crosswalks, pushed for transparency and robust community input in redevelopment of our local public spaces, organized community events and clean-ups and looked out for our seniors and our neighborhood schools.”
Photo: Alison Horn
Hill East residents are looking forward to the arrival of Duffy’s Irish Pub – sister restaurant to Duffy’s on the west end of Dupont Circle.  Duffy’s in Hill East will be on the ground floor of the Park Kennedy residential building at 19th and C Streets, SE.  It will join the adjacent Sala Thai which is making progress toward opening, but which missed its hoped-for opening date in May.  

Both restaurants have applied for liquor licenses but both have a ways to go as far as the build out goes – as shown above.  CHC reported on plans to open Sala Thai last January.  See here:  https://bit.ly/3Lam9Ym

Neighborhood group closes deal on purchase of Mott’s Market at 233 12th Street, SE.  Last Thursday, members of the neighborhood group behind the purchase celebrated the purchase.  In a statement published in the Lincoln Park Newsletter, the group stated:  In purchasing Mott’s, we have decided to bet on our neighbors: that a local corner store, a local gathering place, a locally-owned asset will make our lives just a bit more meaningful and our neighborhood just a bit more kind.  We’re currently raising money to finish reaching our renovation goal, and soon we will be looking to lease our top floor to a residential tenant and the bottom floor to someone who wants to operate a small grocery.  The group, incorporated as Mott’s Neighborhood Market LLC, has about 30 member-investors; the limited liability corporation is run by a five-member board.  Above, some of the neighbors involved in the effort to Safe Mott’s Market. Photo: Save Mott’s Market
Eastern Market Metro Plaza/Park old growth trees are dying.  According to an email from ANC6B05 Commissioner Steve Holtzman, DDOT Urban Foresters have determined that nine large old growth trees in the Eastern Market Metro Park are dying – fourn on Metro Plaza and five in the park which includes the children’s playground.  The trees will be cut down and removed by the end of October.  They will be replaced and additional new trees will be added at both locations. 
Silver Diner Ball Park Opens in SW. The restaurant, featuring Silver Diner downstairs and Silver Social, a 21+ terrace lounge upstairs, overlooking Nationals Park is serving diner favorites and all day breakfast with healthy options including vegan, gluten-free, and fewer than 600 calories.  1250 Half Street, SE.  For more, see here:  https://www.silverdiner.com/ballpark Image: Silver Diner Ball Park

The Week Ahead…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 9, 2022

Tuesday, October 11

ANC6B will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6b.org/

Among items on the draft agenda:

Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee

  • Alcohol beverage license renewals: Barrel, 613 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Class “C” Tavern License; The Eastern,  360 7th Street, SE, Class “C” Tavern License; Raman Bar, 525 8th Street, SE, Class C Restaurant license.
  • Paraiso, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Review of updated Settlement Agreement. 
  • Mendelsohn 301, LLC, Amendment to Settlement Agreement.

Planning and Zoning Committee

  • 117 12th Street, SE. Historic Preservation Application.  Concept review for construction of a new two-story residential building. 
  • 117 12th Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to raze an existing shed and construct a new, detached, two-story principal dwelling unit
  • 639 A Street, SE. Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a two-story garage with accessory apartment, to an existing, semi-detached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit

Transportation Committee

  • Review of Residential Parking at 4th & Independence Avenue SE – Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk.

Wednesday, October 12

ANC6C will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items of the draft agenda:

Community Comment:

  • C. Sentencing Commission – Brittany Bunch

Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee

  • Sweet Sweet Kitchen, 500 H Street NE. New application, Class C tavern license. 
  • Vision Lounge, 707 H Street, NE, New application, Class C tavern license.
  • Renewal applications – Wundergarten, 131 M Street, NE; The Little Grand, 808 7th Street, NE; Laos In Town, 250 K Street NE, Scissors and Scotch, 331 N Street, NE; UNO Chicago Grill, 50 Massachusetts Ave NE; Columbus Club in Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  

Transportation and Public Space Committee (Michael Upright, chair)

  • Update on Boiling Crab
  • Open Streets
  • Transportation and the Environment Committee, Council hearing, Bill 24-433, Rightsizing Residential Parking
  • Permit Parking Regulation Amendment Act

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee

  • 601 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Historic Preservation Application. Concept approval to convert a one-story to a three-story building.
  • 616 Lexington Place NE, Historic Preservation Application. Concept approval for rear and attic addition.
  • 401 K Street NE, Zoning Adjustment Application. After-the-fact permission for removal of an original rooftop cornice.
  • Environment, Parks, and Events Committee.
  • Update on NoMa parks projects and future plans – NoMa BID Team.
  • Update on Reservation 315, park at 5th and I Streets, NE—Transfer from NPS to DCPR, awaiting mayor’s action.

Thursday, October 13

ANC6A will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here:  https://anc6a.org/community-calendar/  

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentations:

  • DOEE’s Solar for All – Daniel Jones, Communication Specialist, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.
  • Installation of Residential Pollinator Gardens – Thorne Rankin, Co-Founder, DC Natives.

Consent Agenda:

  • Letter of support to ABRA for the Class C Tavern license renewal of The Pursuit Wine Bar and Kitchen at 1025 H Street, NE.
  • Letter of support to ABRA for the Class C Tavern license renewal of Vibez on H at 1378 H Street, NE.
  • Letter of opposition to ABRA regarding the Class C Tavern license renewal of Bar Bullfrog/Bullfrog Bagels at 1341 H Street, NE, unless a settlement agreement is entered into prior to the protest date.
  • Letter of opposition to ABRA regarding the Class C Tavern license renewal of The Queen Vic at 1206 H Street, NE, unless an updated settlement agreement is entered into prior to the protest date.
  • Letter of support to ABRA for the Class C Tavern license renewal of Mythology, Lore, & Dirty Water/Beetle House DC at 816 H Street, NE.  
  • Consideration of a recommendation ANC 6A take no action with respect to the substantial change request of Ocean Lounge at 1220 H Street, NE, to add a Summer Garden to their existing license.
  • Consideration of a recommendation that ANC 6A edit the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) language to add new text providing for the provisional removal of any committee member who has three or more unexcused absences without good cause in a 12 month period or about whom the ANC has received one or more complaints of significant concern that may be considered inconsistent with the ANC 6A Code of Conduct or other reasonable standard.
  • Letter to DDOT requesting that School Parking Zone permits cover a radius that does not extend to neighboring ANCs should any permit be issued to Capitol Hill Montessori or other schools that are more than a few blocks away from the adjacent ANC.

Plenary Session:

Transportation and Public Space Committee

  • Letter to DDOT in support of an Open Streets event on 8th Street from Florida Avenue NE to M Street, SE.
  • Letter to DDOT expressing concern about need to provide ANCs with adequate opportunity to review and provide comment on school applications for street parking permits under the School Parking Zone program for SWS at Goding and other future applications and that ANC 6A send a letter to DDOT requesting that signage for south side of G Street NE (adjacent to Sherwood Recreation Center), which is currently not RPP parking, but adjusted to permit holders of the School Parking Zone permits for School-Within-School to park there.
  • Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee
  • Letter of support to BZA for Special Exception zoning relief to construct a third story addition, and a two-story with cellar rear addition, and convert to a flat, an existing, semi-detached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit.  
  • Letter of support to HPRB for historic relief to construct a third floor partial addition and roof deck at 813 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.
  • Suggested Motion: ANC 6A send a letter of support for DDOT’s request to consolidate the B2 bus stops on 14th Street, NE, from three to two stops, with a preference for retaining the stops at 14th and D Streets, NE, and 14th Street and North Carolina Avenue, NE, in their current locations. The request was made as part of the traffic calming proposal for the 1100-1500 blocks of C Street NE.

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All Day Jazz Fest in Garfield Park on Saturday, October 8

All Day Jazz Fest in Garfield Park on Saturday, October 8

by Larry Janezich

The culmination of Herb Scott’s Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation’s annual music festival will be a series of jazz performances all day long, tomorrow in Garfield Park.  Jazz saxophonist Billy Harper is the featured performer.  Garfield Park is at 2nd and F Streets, SE and the event is free.  For more, go here:  http://www.hillfest.org/ 

Here’s the line up on festival’s two stages:

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Capitol Hill Art League Presents “Parallax” – Members Only Art Exhibit

“Untitled 1” Nipun Manda
“Walk III” Sufie Berger

Capitol Hill Art League Presents “Parallax” – Members Only Art Exhibit

 Posted October 6, 2022

The exhibit opened October 4, at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th Street, SE.  An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 8, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.  Juror Carolina Mayorga, a Washington DC-based interdisciplinary artist who has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, will present the awards at the reception.  The show ends November 4. 

Featured artists in the Parallax show are: Anne Albright, Sufie Berger, Karen Cohen, Martin de Alteriis, Elizabeth Eby, Jim Huttinger, Bennett Lowenthal, Nipun Manda, Jane Mann, Carolyn Rondthaler, Rifat Taher, Karen Van Allen, Jan Zastrow, and Karen Zens.

In addition to viewing the show in person, the exhibit may be viewed, on the Capitol Hill Art League website at: https://www.caphillartleague.org/parallax2022/

Carolina Mayorga’s artwork addresses social and political issues, including comments on migration, war, and identity and translate into video/performance/site-specific installations, as well as two-dimensional photography and drawings.

For more on her work, go here: http://carolinamayorga.com/ and here: https://www.instagram.com/camayorga1120/

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and its Gallery operates in compliance with the District of Columbia’s Coronavirus directives.

The Capitol Hill Art League is a visual arts program of The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW). For more information about the Art League, visit the website at www.caphillartleague.org

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It’s “No Contest” in November Election of ANC6B Commissioners

Map showing the new ANC6B and Single Member District boundaries post 2022 redistricting. These new ANC and SMD boundaries will take effect on January 1, 2023.
Map showing the the current ANC6B and Single Member District boundaries.

It’s “No Contest” in November Election of ANC6B Commissioners

By Larry Janezich           

Posted October 5, 2022

This is the first in a series of profiles of ANC candidates from Single Member Districts on or near Capitol Hill. 

There is only a single candidate for ANC Commissioner in each ANC6B single member district.

Redistricting changed the boundaries and makeup of every ANC in Ward 6.  In ANC6B, it reduced the number of single member districts from 10 to 9.  Only two ANC6B incumbents are seeking re-election, commissioners Sroufe and Ryder.  Current commissioners not seeking reelection include Samolyk, Ready, Holtzman, Oldenburg and Holman.  Former 6B08 commissioner Peter Wright resigned in August after relocating out of his single member district and his seat is vacant.  The single member districts of Commissioners Krepp and Horn were relocated to Ward 7 by redistricting. 

If you are not sure if redistricting changed which single member district you’re in, go here:  https://bit.ly/3V3002Z

Since there are no contested seats, the list of likely commissioners for ANC6B is as follows, barring a successful write in campaign in the November 8 general election. 

6B01 FRANK AVERY.   Frank Avery and his family were part of the growth of Ward 6 when they joined the community in late 2018, first in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood and today in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  Frank is an active neighbor in Ward 6 who has helped to develop new programs and partnerships to better inform, engage, and channel the energy of neighbors to solutions important for the neighborhood.  He combines his past experience in local, state, and national non-profit and government organizations to help solve hyper-local issues.  He currently serves as the 6B01 Resident Member on the Transportation Committee.  He is Director at the Business-Higher Education Forum.

6B02 GERALD “JERRY” SROUFE  Jerry Sroufe is completing his second two-year term as ANC commissioner of 6B02.  He has been Secretary and a member of the ANC6B Executive Committee throughout this time.  His professional experiences are in governance and education. He has been a schoolteacher in Illinois, a professor at Claremont Graduate School, Executive Director of the Committee for Public Education, and Executive Director of the National EdD Program for Educational Leaders.  He most recently served as Director of Government Relations at the American Educational Research Association.  He is now fully retired and is devoting his time to learning how to be a good ANC commissioner – and how to golf.

6B03 DAVID SOBELSOHN David Sobelsohn’s career has combined organizing and activism with teaching and scholarship, both legal and literary. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Boston University Law School he has taught at Stanford Law School and at law schools in Cleveland and Detroit, covered the United States Supreme Court for a news service, and published scholarly articles on constitutional law.  As Chief Legislative Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, he led the HRC’s work organizing the first-ever congressional hearing on and drafting a gay-rights bill:  the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  David has also published theater reviews and for eight years led Footlights, DC’s only modern-drama discussion group.  Election as 6B03 commissioner would mark his second stint on an ANC.  From 2005-11, he served as an ANC commissioner in Southwest DC.

6B04 FRANCIS “FRANK” D’ANDREA  Frank D’Andrea is a DC area native and has lived in the DMV for almost his entire life.  Originally from Bethesda/Potomac, Frank moved back to the area after graduate school in 2013 and into the DC proper in 2014.  After two years of living in the H Street Corridor/Stanton Park area, he moved to the Eastern Market/Barracks Row neighborhood where he currently resides.  A licensed architect in the District of Columbia, Frank has held a fascination with the built environment and urbanism for his entire life and has worked on numerous projects across the city.  While he has never held elected office, he has demonstrated leadership in his profession, and was a member of the 2018-2019 Christopher Kelly Leadership Development Program of the AIA (American Institute of Architect’s DC Emerging Architects Committee).

6B05 KASIE DURKIT  Kasie Durkit moved to DC to study law at Georgetown Law after studying History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies at Bowling Green State University.   She moved into an English basement to get “the real Capitol Hill experience.”  After graduation, she started “my dream job” as an attorney for the U.S. Department of the Interior, working on issues related to protecting Federal lands and cultural heritage.  She has lived on Capitol Hill for almost eight years and says, “…walks around Lincoln Park, an iced coffee run to Wine&Butter, and a cool new find at Capitol Hill Books are just some of the things that make living in this neighborhood so special.  For that reason, it would be a great joy and honor of mine to give back to this neighborhood and serve as ANC for a place I really love and among neighbors I call friends.”

6B06 CHANDER JAYARAMAN Chander Jayaraman is currently president of a minority-owned emergency preparedness small business in the District of Columbia.  His company creates emergency response and evacuation plans and evacuation maps for District government agencies, schools, and residential buildings.  Before starting his own company in 2010, he was Project Director at Inclusion Research Institute, a non-profit research organization where he managed projects that increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities, increased voter participation in elections, and improved the preparedness of people nationwide.  His record as a civic activist and an elected official includes having served as an ANC6B Commissioner from 2012-2020 and running for a seat on the DC Council as an At-Large Councilmember. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Jenkins Hill, a child development center, as an Alumni representative and is actively involved in Little League baseball as an umpire and youth mentor.

6B07 VINCE MAREINO Vince Mareino moved to DC in 1998 for college.  Since 2012, he has been living with his wife and daughter on Capitol Hill within sight of the Safeway.  Neighbors might recognize him from the Peabody/Watkins PTA, or from his walks with his two dogs, Pancakes and Squirrel.  Vince bikes daily to work at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

6B08 EDWARD RYDER Edward Ryder was elected to the ANC in 2020 and served his first term representing the residents of ANC 6B07.  After the redistricting process re-drew the single member district lines this past year, he is running for re-election for ANC 6B08.  Edward has lived in the neighborhood since 2018 having moved from the SW-Waterfront area.  As Commissioner, he sought to help improve traffic safety in the area, assist in connecting neighbors with various DC agency services, and to keep neighbors up to date on the overall issues and events central to our neighborhood.  He is most passionate about public transportation and affordable housing.  He believes DC needs to be accessible, safe, and affordable for all residents.  Outside of his role as an ANC Commissioner, he works putting his love of public transit to use for Alexandria City’s bus service, DASH Bus.

6B09 MATT LAFORTUNE Matt LaFortune is currently a resident member of the ANC6B Transportation Committee, where he works with current Commissioners and neighbors to make streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers and has provided testimony to inform DDOT’s plans for Pennsylvania Avenue and Southeast Blvd.  He also engages with voters on local elections as a DC Democratic Party committeeman and an officer with the Ward 6 Democrats.  Professionally, LaFortune is a management consultant for strategic planning and public policy communications.

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Part II. A Deep Dive into Rumsey Pool’s Turbulent Beginning

Architect Gordon Bunshaft in 1957, in front of his Connecticut General Life Insurance Building. © Nipe Leen/Life Picture Collection/Getty Images. (Posted under fair use as a non-profit news blog with no commercial interest.) 
The newly opened Capitol East Natatorium. Note the latticed block enclosure wall, still extant, that many climbed over in 1970 and diving boards which are no longer allowed. Evening Star Collection, The People’s Archive, DC Public Library.

Part II. A Deep Dive into Rumsey Pool’s Turbulent Beginning

By Hilary Russell 

This article is part of a series that looks back on the history of our neighborhood.

Early in 1968, as the polarizing community hubbub [see https://bit.ly/3RCTY70 ] around the location of the new Capitol East Playground and Natatorium abated, another controversy bubbled up.  This one pitted the DC Department of Buildings and Grounds against the Fine Arts Commission, an august federal advisory body appointed by the President of the United States.  The department favored a bunkered pool building immune to vandalism, while the commission insisted on a design that featured glass, light, and air.  Local architect Eugene Delmar said later that he had been obliged to submit his plans six or seven times.  

The commission flatly rejected his first submission because it presented “four unrelated buildings” that encompassed a large swimming pool, a wading pool, a bath house, and community room.  The second submission – a single, windowless, brick structure with a walled-in sundeck and removable plastic bubble roof – fared even worse.  The Washington Post reported that the commission “sent architect Eugene A. Delmar through a gauntlet of abrasive criticism,” and outlined specific input from member Gordon Bunshaft, architect of the Hirschhorn Museum and other landmark buildings and design leader of the large and prestigious New York firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Bunshaft is widely acknowledged as a giant in the field of modernist corporate architecture.  On his death, The Post architecture critic wrote, “As a design critic, he was widely feared, and rightfully so.  His cranky, brusque dismissals were famous.”  This article states that commission member Bunshaft had revised the plans for DC’s Metro stations.  During discussions on making every station different, he had grabbed a piece of paper and sketched “a station made of plain concrete with oval tunnels and coffered ceilings – essentially what exists today.”

The late Dick Wolf, representing Capitol Hill Restoration Society, saw Bunshaft make an analogous sketch of the natatorium during a commission session.  He told many people later (including me) that Bunshaft designed the strikingly modernist building.  The final plans, approved in June, were nothing like the early submissions. (Unfortunately, none of these plans can be located in the National Archives.)

Soon after the natatorium opened in August 1970, local architect Delmar acknowledged to an Evening Star reporter that it was not his design.  The commission, he said, had “very definite ideas about how the building was to be designed and they got exactly what they asked for.”  The article posited that the natatorium might be “a beautiful white elephant” and focused on the vandalism and theft visited upon the spanking new building.  Seven smashed windows seemingly vindicated a windowless design. 

Other problems were reported that month: peeling paint and crumbling caulking caused by a mad rush to open after a cold spring, along with staff gripes that the wading pool was too small; the shallow end of the swimming pool was too deep; and a lot of people were climbing the latticed brick enclosure wall and entering the pool without “taking their required showers.”  A subsequent article registered complaints by Eastern Market and 7th Street vendors about visits by children turned away from full-up pools.  A neighborhood realtor railed, “There is no supervision for the kids waiting outside. Where are the ping pong tables?”

Almost miraculously, this litany ended after two brief closings for repairs and new policies.

A wall of historical posters at Rumsey commemorates the Black History Invitational Swim Meet, an important event inaugurated here in 1987. Photo: Hilary Russell.

DC’s first integrated, year-round public pool earned another distinction by hosting the Black History Invitational Swim Meet, co-founded in 1987 by Dr. William Rumsey, former director of the DC Department of Recreation and Parks.  By 1990, when the building closed for four months of renovations, it was deemed to be “the most active and popular” pool among 45 in the city; the only one “open from early morning until early evening every day and some weekends.”

A second major renovation occurred in 2003.  Another is imminent, along with a potential redesign.  Perhaps this time the landscaping budget won’t be cut and exterior beautification ignored, an issue Dick Wolf bemoaned way back in 1969.  And let’s hope any redesign is informed by how important this building was and is for Capitol Hill residents and by convincing evidence that a supremely gifted and internationally recognized architect had a huge hand in its design.

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The Week Ahead…Hill East Burger and Han Palace Open…& Some Photos from the Past Week

Hill East Burger at 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, on PA Avenue SE, opens this week. 
Last Thursday night, owners of Hill East Burger took the place for a little test drive in the form of a very soft (unannounced) opening.  They expect to open for real early this week – Tuesday or Wednesday.  Restaurateurs Chris Svetlik (owner of Republic Cantina), Joe Neuman (owner of Sloppy Mama’s BBQ), and Ben Alt have teamed up to bring smoked burgers to the space formerly occupied by Wisdom at 1432 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  That’s Svetlik seated at the bar, on the left.
The place has retained some of the informality and funkiness which characterized Wisdom.  They even have a jukebox.  Svetlik designed the space – Neuman created and oversees the menu – Alt manages beverages and the day-to-day operations of the restaurant.  Kendrick Jackson is behind the bar.  Alt says their goal is to be open Monday through Friday, 5pm – 10pm with the bar closing at 11pm.  Saturdays and Sundays it will be 12pm – 10pm and 11pm for the bar.  Here’s a look at the menu:

Han Palace on Barracks Row Is Open.  The latest addition to the local chain, at 522 8th Street SE, in the space formerly occupied by Frame of Mine (before they moved across the street), held a soft opening on Saturday night and is now open daily, 11:30am – 10:00pm. 
The Han Palace Barracks Row website with menu is not up yet, but the restaurant offers dim sum, congee, standard Cantonese entrees, tofu and vegetables, Hong Kong roasted items, and noodles and rice.  According to Washingtonian, next week the restaurant will offer an all you can eat dim sum menu and bottomless mimosas.  Owner Chris Zhu is also behind the forthcoming Ginza BBQ Lounge & Karaoke Spot a few doors down the block at 526 8th Street, SE.  See Washingtonian piece here:   https://bit.ly/3C5fhHI

The Week Ahead…Hill East Burgers and Han Palace Open…& Some Photos from the Past Week

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 2, 2022

Monday, October 3

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm.

For info on how to join the meeting, go here: https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the draft agenda:

  • 117 12th Street SE. Historic Preservation Application. Concept review for construction of a new two-story residential building. 
  • 117 12th Street SE. Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to raze an existing shed and construct a new, detached, two-story principal dwelling .
  • 639 A Street SE. Zoning Adjustment Application.  Special Exception to construct a two-story garage with accessory apartment, to an existing, semi-detached, two-story with cellar, principal dwelling unit. 

 

Tuesday, October 4

Yom Kippur

No ANC Meetings.

Wednesday, October 5

Yom Kippur

No ANC Meetings. 

(ANC6B Transportation Committee postponed until Monday, October 10)

Thursday, October 6

ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on how to join the meeting, go here: https://anc6b.org/calendar/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Barrel, 613 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Renewal of Class “C” Tavern License
  • The Eastern, 360 7th Street, SE. Renewal of Class “C” Tavern License
  • Paraiso, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue ,SE. Review of updated Settlement Agreement.
  • Santa Rose Taqueria, 301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Review of Amendment to Settlement Agreement. 

ANC6C Transportation Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/

Among items on the agenda:

  • Agenda not available at press time.

ANC6C Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee will hold a virtual meeting at 7:00pm. 

For info on joining the meeting, go here:  https://anc6c.org/hot-topics/          

Among items on the draft agenda:                   

  • Agenda not available at press time.

Friends of Southeast Library will hold their October meeting at 5:30pm at Southeast Library, lower level.   The meeting will be in person. 

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DC Public Library Updates Community on Renovation of Southeast Library

Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director of DC Public Library, at Thursday night’s community meeting in Southeast Library. 
The project timeline for the renovation of Southeast Library anticipates closing the library for construction next spring.

DC Public Library Updates Community of Renovation on Southeast Library

by Larry Janezich

Posted October 2, 2022

Last Thursday night, DC Public Library hosted a community meeting to update some 40 interested neighbors on the renovation of Southeast Library.  The project timeline illustrated above shows where designers are in the process, with construction scheduled to begin next year and a move in date for the renovated library in the spring of 2025. 

Members of the Quinn Evans design team detailed the progress since the last community meeting in 2021 which includes completion of the advanced regulatory review process, a refined design in response to regulatory comments and neighbor concerns, development of an exterior lighting analysis strategy, completion of an Environmental Noise Control study and tweaking of the design of the library’s interior spaces. 

Quinn Evans asserted the new library plan will provide 25% more meeting and conference spaces, 50% more computer space, almost 50% more space for books (25,000), double the space for adult seating, and three times the space for children and families.

Night time rendering of the proposed universal entrance on South Carolina Avenue that continues to receive push back from nearby residents.

One design element which continued to irk nearby neighbors on South Carolina is the universal entrance on South Carolina Avenue.  The current main entrance will remain, providing access to the current floor  which will become the library’s third level.  But a new universal entrance has been designed for access to the library on the southern facade.  This entrance to the below grade level where space for children and families has been located, will provide access to upper floors by elevator and a grand staircase.  Some attendees who are residents of South Carolina Avenue are opposed to the universal entrance on that street, fearing increased vehicular traffic, the amount of night time lighting, a design they call incompatible with Capitol Hill norms, and the potential attraction of a cadre of loungers who often currently frequent the area near the current main entrance on the east facade. 

DCPL staff and the design team did their best to allay concerns and to assure residents that they had considered their suggestions and proposals but found the current design the only feasible one.  They cited the approval expressed by city agencies and the historic preservation review process including the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Commission on Fine Arts. 

Those concerned residents did not appear to be convinced and remain resentful that their suggestions and recommendations regarding an alternate design with a universal entrance on D Street were given what they consider short shrift by the design team.  In response to a concern that a lack of funding might require scaling back the project after construction starts, Councilmember Charles Allen, who was present for the meeting and whose efforts provided city funding for the renovation, assured that he was 100% confident that the project would be fully funded in the coming fiscal year budgets.

 

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